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European Weekend Preview: Milan-Fiorentina, English F.A. Cup, and more

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Despite no Barclays Premier League action this weekend, there is still an exciting slate of action all-across Europe.

Fifth-round English F.A. Cup action takes place this weekend with 16 teams still having hopes of advancing in this prestigious and historic competition. Second-tier Wolverhampton Wanderers will look to pull another upset as they welcome Premier League leaders Chelsea to Molineaux. Elsewhere, third-tier sleepers Millwall host reigning Premier League champs Leicester in the New Den, looking to eliminate their third top-tier side so far in this tournament.

In Spain, Real Madrid will look to extend their lead at the summit of La Liga as they welcome ninth-place Espanyol to the Bernabeu on Saturday. Barcelona will look to bounce back after Tuesday’s Champions League drubbing as they host Leganes on Sunday at the Camp Nou.

The Bundesliga is headlined with two top-ten match-ups that should not disappoint. On Saturday, sixth-place Hertha Berlin welcomes leaders Bayern Munich to the Olympiastadion looking for a huge home win. Second place RB Leipzig will look to avenge back-to-back league defeats on Sunday as they travel to Borussia Monchengladbach, who have won three of their last five league fixtures.

Serie A’s slate begins on Friday as leaders Juventus look to make it seven domestic wins in a row as they entertain Palermo. Sunday features two top-ten showdowns as ninth-place Torino travel to second-place Roma, while Milan host Fiorentina at the Giuseppe Meazza in a battle of seventh versus eighth.

In Ligue 1, league leaders Monaco travel to second-from-bottom Bastia on Friday, looking to extend their lead at the top. Saturday sees Montpeiller hosting Saint-Etienne, while Sunday sees PSG host Toulouse in a top-ten matchup at the Parc des Princes.

Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s European action:

ENGLISH F.A CUP

Saturday kicks off the fifth round of the F.A. Cup with a unique showdown taking place at John Smith’s Stadium. In-form Huddersfield Town welcomes Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to town looking to pull off a huge upset. The hosts have won six straight in all competitions, while Manchester City have won four consecutive matches. Burnley welcome non-league outfit Lincoln City to Turf Moor looking to avoid being Lincoln’s fifth victim of the competition.

Fulham host Tottenham in a London Derby on Sunday at Craven Cottage, while Manchester United also travel to struggling Blackburn Rovers. Non-league Sutton United welcome Premier League giants Arsenal to the Borough Sports Ground in the round’s finale on Monday evening.

SATURDAY

  • Burnley vs. Lincoln City
  • Middlesbrough vs. Oxford United
  • Huddersfield vs. Manchester City
  • Millwall vs. Leicester City
  • Wolves vs. Chelsea

SUNDAY

  • Fulham vs. Tottenham
  • Blackburn vs. Manchester United

MONDAY 

  • Sutton Utd vs. Arsenal

SPANISH LA LIGA

Granada and Real Betis kick off the weekend’s action on Friday, looking to set the tone for the remainder of the weekend.

Sporting Gijon host Atletico Madrid on Saturday looking to jump out of the relegation zone. Real Madrid host Espanyol looking to extend their lead at the top of the table, while Sevilla welcome Eibar in an entertaining battle of three vs. seven.

European places are on the line Sunday as Villarreal travel to Real Sociedad in the day’s early match. Only five points separate the sides as both try to keep their hold on the top six. Barcelona host Leganes at the Camp Nou, looking to forget Tuesday’s 4-0 UCL defeat in Paris. The round concludes on Monday as Malaga welcome Las Palmas to La Rosaleda in a bottom-half battle.

FRIDAY

  • Granada vs. Real Betis

SATURDAY

  • Sporting Gijon vs. Atletico Madrid
  • Real Madrid vs. Espanyol
  • Deportivo vs. Alaves
  • Sevilla vs. Eibar

SUNDAY

  • Real Sociedad vs. Villarreal
  • Valencia vs. Athletic Bilbao
  • Celta Vigo vs. Osasuna
  • Barcelona vs. Leganes

MONDAY

  • Malaga vs. Las Palmas

GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

Augsburg open the weekend on Friday welcoming Bayer Leverkusen to the SGL Arena. The hosts look to bounce back after a 2-0 loss at Mainz a week ago, while the visitors look to make it back-to-back wins.

Saturday features the match of the weekend as Hertha Berlin host Bayern Munich at the Olympiastadion. Hertha are coming off a 2-0 road defeat to Schalke a week ago, and are looking for a statement win at home. Bayern defeated Ingolstadt 2-0 in late fashion last week, and will look to continue their Bundesliga dominance. Borussia Dortmund welcome Wolfsburg to the Signal Iduna Park also on Saturday wanting to forget last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Darmstadt. Thomas Tuchel’s men currently are 15 points off Bayern for the league lead.

Borussia Monchengladbach look to make it three league wins in a row on Sunday as they entertain RB Leipzig at Borussia-Park. The hosts sit in 10th but will look to pull the upset over Germany’s surprise side. Schalke travel to Koln in Sunday’s late match with revenge on their minds after a 3-1 defeat back in September.

FRIDAY

  • FC Augsburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen

SATURDAY

  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg
  • Mainz 05 vs. Werder Bremen
  • Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich
  • Hoffenheim vs. SV Darmstadt 98
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Ingolstadt
  • Hamburg SV vs. Freiburg

SUNDAY

  • Borussia Monchengladbach vs. RB Leipzig
  • FC Koln vs. Schalke 04

ITALIAN SERIE A

Juventus look to make it six straight league wins as they welcome struggling Palermo to Juventus Stadium on Friday. The action rolls on Saturday as Atalanta host Crotone while sixth place Lazio travel to Empoli.

Sunday sees a lot of the top sides in action and two huge fixtures on the docket as well. Fourth-place Inter travel to bottom-half Bologna in the early fixture, while Chievo host third-place Napoli in Verona. Roma welcome Torino to the Olimpico looking to win their fifth consecutive match in all competitions. Fiorentina travel to Milan knowing a victory would boost them over their opponents.

FRIDAY

  • Juventus vs. Palermo

SATURDAY

  • Atalanta vs. Crotone
  • Empoli vs. Lazio

SUNDAY

  • Bologna vs. Inter
  • Chievo vs. Napoli
  • Pescara vs. Genoa
  • Sampdoria vs. Cagliari
  • Udinese vs. Sassuolo
  • Roma vs. Torino
  • Milan vs. Fiorentina

FRENCH LIGUE 1

Monaco open the weekend sitting atop the Ligue 1 summit, and three points better than second place PSG. They travel to Bastia on Friday looking to make it eight consecutive league matches unbeaten.

On Saturday, sixth-place Marseille welcome 10th-place Rennes to the Stade Velodrome looking for a better performance than a week ago. Nantes travel to Metz in a bottom-half battle knowing a win for the hosts could see them leapfrog the visitors in the standings. Third-place Nice are also in action hoping for a convincing win against last-place Lorient.

Sunday sees fourth place Lyon entertain Dijon at the Parc OL, while Saint-Etienne face a tough road test at Montpellier. Paris Saint-Germain look to keep pressure on Monaco at the top, as they welcome Toulouse to the Parc des Princes. A win for Unai Emery’s side would cap a superb week after a trouncing of Barcelona in UCL duty.

FRIDAY

  • Bastia vs. Monaco

SATURDAY

  • Marseille vs. Rennes
  • Lorient vs. Nice
  • Angers vs. Nancy
  • Caen vs. Lille
  • Metz vs. Nantes

SUNDAY

  • Bordeaux vs. Guingamp
  • Montpellier vs. St. Etienne
  • Lyon vs. Dijon
  • Paris Saint-Germain vs. Toulouse

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